February 18, 2018

Bulan lalu saya gagal mencoba naik kereta api dari Bandara Soekarno Hatta ke Stasiun Sudirman Baru. Sekarang, saya kembali ke Jakarta dan mencoba pengalaman naik kereta api dari bandara. Ekspektasi saya lebih ke pengalaman mencoba hal baru sebelum LRT Palembang selesai. Informasi mengenai kereta api bandara sudah banyak ditulis oleh orang, bahkan teman-teman blogger lain…
on February 18, 2018 05:42 AM tagged with transportasi murah dari bandara jakarta
The president's quote tweet of Facebook executive Rob Goldman misses how the Russians really influenced the election online.
on February 18, 2018 03:06 AM tagged with Business
Pak Tua adalah julukan yang disematkan untuk Gunung Patuha atau Gunung Sepuh. Disebut demikian karena masyarakat lokal pada zaman dahulu percaya bahwa pada atap-atap gunung inilah arwah para leluluh mereka bersemayam. Atap yang senantiasa tertutup oleh kabut tebal dan tidak
on February 18, 2018 02:21 AM tagged with Kab Bandung

According to a survey of Germany’s digital industry association Bitkom, 64% of citizens are familiar with Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

A survey published Feb. 15 by the German Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (Bitkom), found that just over two thirds of Germans are aware of Bitcoin (BTC).

Awareness of the most popular cryptocurrency has doubled since 2016, when 36 percent of German citizens were familiar with Bitcoin, and quadrupled since 2013, Bitkom reports.

According to this year’s survey, 4 percent of the 1,009 respondents actually own Bitcoin, 19 percent said that they have an idea of how to buy Bitcoin, and 72 percent stated they had no interest in the digital currency.

On the economic significance of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain, Bitkom CEO Bernhard Rohleder stated:

"Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a good example of how the digital age is able to change the financial world. This is not so much about the individual currency itself as it is about the underlying blockchain technology. It will have an impact on the whole economy.”

As reported by Bitkom’s survey, the two main reasons cited by the 72 percent of Germans who have no interest in Bitcoin are risks from high price volatility and lack of knowledge of Bitcoin’s practical use.

On Monday, Feb. 12, the European Supervisory Authorities warned consumers that cryptocurrencies are “highly risky” assets that show “clear signs of a pricing bubble”.

Awareness of cryptocurrencies is high in Germany compared to some other countries. According to a Jan. 13  survey, more than 56 percent of Russians have heard of Bitcoin. In August 2017, Charles Xue, a Chinese-American billionaire investor, suggested that the vast majority of people in China, 70-80 percent, have never heard of Bitcoin.

on February 18, 2018 01:48 AM tagged with Germany

The trading in three companies’ stocks has been suspended by the SEC due to questions surrounding their acquisition of crypto assets

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a report Thursday, Feb. 15 explaining the temporary suspension of trading in three companies that had made statements about acquiring cryptocurrency and “Blockchain technology-related assets”.

All three companies, Cherubim Interests (CHIT), PDX Partners (PDXP), and Victura Construction Group (VICT) have been suspended starting Feb. 16 for two weeks for investor protection purposes. The SEC trading suspension orders state that all three companies issued press releases that claim that:

“[T]he companies acquired AAA-rated assets from a subsidiary of a private equity investor in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, among other things. According to the SEC order regarding CHIT, it also announced the execution of a financing commitment to launch an initial coin offering [ICO],”

The SEC orders also state “there are questions regarding the nature of the companies’ business operations and the value of their assets”.

In late August, 2017, the SEC issued a warning to investors regarding ICOs and the potential for scams, including reasons it might suspend trading of a company “to protect investors and the public interest”. On Jan. 22, 2018 SEC Chairman Jay Clayton warned that companies that shift their business models “on the promise” of Blockchain technology will face closer scrutiny from regulators.

on February 18, 2018 01:26 AM tagged with Tradings

A blacklist, apparently compiled by communications agency professionals of social media influencers, caused a stir last week when it began to be circulated over Whatsapp groups and then on social media.

The list divided these influencers, aka KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) aka Buzzers into those with Bad and Good Behavior and invited comments. Since it was prepared on Google Docs it was a collaborative effort to list down agencies’ experience in dealing with the influencers.

Bad Behaviour included not keeping to deadlines, acting like prima donnas, having managers that were difficult, not delivering what was promised and shoddy work. Good Behaviour was generally the opposite.

As expected, anak ahensi, influencers and wannabe influencers took to Twitter and other social platforms to express their approval or disdain for such a list and affront what the Brahmin class of the Netizenry. After all, who dared to question the behaviour of the influencers who theoretically commanded thousands and thousands of followers and supposedly can influence them?

The fact that some anak ahensi did, and that heaven did not fall on their heads, however, is quite telling of the influence of the influencers. Some, such as Elinor Cohen,  would say that it exposes the fact that the Influencer Emperors has no clothes. I think a bit differently, that Naked Emperors have some function – to attract attention and therefore to build awareness of a brand or some messaging. But that’s where their usefulness stops as they hardly influence decisions to buy or change attitudes.

So why then do clients and their marketeers turn to the influencers? I’d think its largely because of laziness and fear.

Laziness because without outsourcing the noise making business to influencers, the marketers would have to work very hard to generate the kind of content that keeps them relevant to their audiences. So they get the agencies to hire the influencers who generate noise, that in turn generate impressions, reach and sometimes even engagement. But does all of this help push the sales of their products or change attitudes toward a brand? Questionable.

Fear is the other motivator that keeps influencers employed. Clients do not want to confront the fact that with social media the audience rather than the brands is in control. And the end of the day there is no guarantee that the customer would be herded down the Purchase Funnel to buy your products. So they resort to agencies who resort to professional noise makers.

The Blacklist has since been taken down in the social media hubbub that followed. But it’s actually a good thing. Although some of the influencers are a joy to work with many of them are very young – in their early 20s – who discover they have a knack of attracting followers because they can amuse them with their passion for clothes, make up or other past times or propensity to scold others with acerbic wit.

The path from nobody to Influencer for  them is short and devoid of the many stumbles and lessons learned along the way. As such, many of these influencers exhibit the behaviour of people with arrested development, relative children suddenly vested with great superpowers before they learned responsibility, the art of getting along with others and the compromises that one has to make in a collaborative effort. Hence the list of bad behaviour.

If some of these influencers can come to grips that the Blacklist is good, honest feedback then there is hope that they would mature faster and be great guys to work with. If they decide to take umbrage then it’s likely that they will flame out within a short time as the Net throws up influencers by the hundreds every few weeks and the some form or other of The Blacklist would persist, probably in closed social media channels such as WhatsaApp.

As a payback to this Blacklist, some in the influencer camp has threatened to come up with a Blacklist of their own – of agencies who delay payment to the influencers and other vendors for services rendered. I think it would be a good thing if they came up with such a list. There are too many agencies who delay payment to their vendors because the client has yet to pay them.This is unfair on the vendors, some of whom are freelancers or small outfits who rely on a steady cash flow and timely payments to stay in business. Agencies should honour their agreements with their vendors, and if clients do not pay them that shuld not be an excuse to renege on this agreement.

I guess the lesson here is that Blacklists may have silver linings. One of the things the Net does well is to make things more transparent and more transparency can only be the better for the communications business, large swaths of which are riddled with unprofessional and unethical behaviour, both on the side of the influencers and agencies.

Let there be more light.










on February 18, 2018 01:08 AM tagged with influencer
At the newly expanded Fort Lauderdale airport in Florida, controllers watch their planes through radar and video, not line-of-sight.
on February 18, 2018 01:02 AM tagged with Transportation

February 17, 2018

A year after it premiered at Sundance, “Where Is Kyra? has a trailer. Michelle Pfeiffer stars in Andrew Dosunmu’s follow-up to “Mother of George,” which has earned praise for its lead performance as well as the cinematography of Bradford Young (who shot “Mother of George” as well as “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” “Selma,” “Arrival,” and the upcoming “Solo: A Star Wars Story”). Watch the trailer below.

Read More:‘Where Is Kyra?’ Review: Michelle Pfeiffer Gives Her Best Performance in Years in This Sad Little Drama — Sundance 2017

Here’s the synopsis: “Andrew Dosunmu’s ‘Where Is Kyra?’ tells the story of Kyra Johnson, a middle-aged divorcee who moves into her elderly mother’s Brooklyn apartment while she looks for work and tries to get back on her feet. When her mother suddenly dies, Kyra is left without any support, both emotional and financial, and finds herself with very few options–none of them good. Despite a blossoming affair with a sympathetic neighbor (Sutherland) with struggles of his own, Kyra can’t accept that her once-tidy life has fallen apart, and she resorts to increasingly desperate measures to hold onto what little she has left.”

Read More:Michelle Pfeiffer Calls Sexual Harassment a ‘Systemic’ Problem in Hollywood — Watch

Kiefer Sutherland and Suzanne Shepherd co-star in the film, which Dosunmu co-wrote with Darci Picoult. “Where Is Kyra?” will receive a limited theatrical release on April 6.

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on February 17, 2018 10:43 PM tagged with Where Is Kyra?

The best and most harrowing addition to the quickly growing sub-genre of movies that take place entirely within the space of a computer screen, Timur Bekmambetov’s “Profile” brings a new and much-needed dimension to its conceit by using it in the service of a semi-realistic story. That’s uncharted territory for a type of filmmaking which — like so many cinematic innovations before it — was born out of shlock. Asinine early attempts like Nacho Vigalando’s “Open Windows” suggested that a degree of absurdity was required to justify the aesthetic, while “Unfriended” (which Bekmambetov produced) was only willing to trace the connection between digital relationships and real-world consequences to a certain point; what began as a cautionary tale about online bullying ended as a supernatural horror story about a Skype-loving demon.

“Profile” is different. While nobody is ever going to confuse the movie for a documentary — making for at least one degree of verisimilitude that traditional “found footage” cinema has over its web 2.0 successor — Bekmambetov’s latest is strictly grounded in the dystopian grime of the social media age. This is the first of these films to recognize that the internet is already scary enough; that the boogeyman doesn’t need to hide under the bed or jump out of the shadows when he can just slide into your DMs.

“Profile” isn’t only realistic, it’s based on a true story. More of a techno-thriller than anything else (though it does have a handful of truly shattering jump-scares), the film takes its cues from the account of a French journalist who made Facebook contact with an ISIS recruiter named Abu Bilel in order to investigate the secret underworld of jihadi war brides. Bekmambetov, of course, is only so beholden to the facts; after all, this is a guy whose idea of a historical biopic is “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”

Read More:‘Isle of Dogs’ Review: Wes Anderson Delivers a Stop-Motion Stunner About the Garbage World We Live In — Berlinale 2018

In his version, the journalist is a British freelancer called Amy Whittaker (Valene Kane, like a tetchy Rose Byrne) who’s scrambling to pay her share of the rent on the London flat she shares with her insufferable fiancé (Morgan Watkins). Desperate for an assignment, she pitches her editor a piece so extreme that it almost feels like a withering comment on the perversity of the gig economy: She’ll pose as a recent Muslim convert who dreams of becoming one of the Real Housewives of Raqqa — the kind of social outcast who’d move to Syria if she felt like she might belong there — and catfish the same guy who recently lured a baby-faced British girl to her death. Amy’s editor, who might just be the most ridiculously irresponsible movie editor of all time, seems to think that’s a great idea.

And so, roughly 11 seconds after she first had the idea, Amy creates a fake Facebook page for a “Melody Nelson” and starts sharing gruesome ISIS propaganda off Abu’s page. Roughly 11 seconds after that, Abu is blasting her with instant messages along the lines of, “hey girl, u wanna come terrorist and chill? promise u won’t be a sex slave who gets stoned 2 death when she inevitably tries to escape lol.” Crying emoji. Cat gif. etc.

Just like that, Amy has gone deep undercover without leaving her kitchen. She throws on a headscarf, sets up a screen-share with the Syrian IT guy from her office, and starts juggling Skype calls with an incredibly dangerous terrorist with the YouTube videos she’s streaming for help and the friends she’s texting about the mundane events of her actual life. The infinitude of the information available to her is on full display, as is the extent to which a digital life can quickly acquire the full dimension of a corporeal one.

Amy is a terribly reckless journalist (and a caricature of a hungry millennial), but this is her lucky day: Not only is Abu thirsty as hell, but he’s candid and charismatic and he seems to take a personal interest in her case — he doesn’t just want “Melody” to come join him in Syria, he wants to marry her himself. And it’s easy for Amy to play along, because Abu is kind of a dreamboat, in an “death cult pyramid scheme” kind of way. He runs the “cats of ISIS” Instagram account, for goodness sake.

Read More:‘Black 47’ Review: Hugo Weaving Is a Fierce Killer in this Violent Western About the Irish Potato Famine — Berlinale 2018

Played by an unsettlingly charismatic Shazad Latif, Abu is a shifty and compelling figure. As he and Amy begin Skyping at all hours of the day (even cooking traditional Syrian meals together), the validity of their feelings for one another grows engagingly unclear, becoming the biggest question marks of a movie that’s never short on suspense. Is Amy in too deep, or is she just selling the illusion? Can Abu be isolated from his ideology, or does he personify the ways in which ISIS is just an unprecedentedly violent expression of toxic masculinity?

The answers to these mysteries are mighty predictable (a fact that Bekmambetov tries to obscure by reaching them through a string of silly plot twists), but “Profile” nevertheless sells us on how seductive these interactions can be — when applied strategically, small doses of empathy and attention can make good people do very bad things. Even at its most absurd, the movie is chilled by an ominous and ever-present feeling that the world has become smaller than we ever thought possible, and that real nightmares are waiting for us on the other side of every window.

For that reason, “Profile” is one of the only films that will be a categorically superior (and taxonomically different) experience when watched on a computer monitor rather than a movie screen. Bekmambetov, who’s never seemed comfortable with conventional modes of storytelling (or even capable of understanding them), has crafted a piece of 21st century entertainment that exploits how people interact with media today — how lateral communication has become and how actively we have been conditioned to engage with it.

Seen in theaters, “Profile” simply indicates something we all know to be true; watched on a laptop, and it inspires you to instinctively click on Amy’s Skype windows, as though the movie is being shared on your screen in real-time. That’s a terrifyingly immediate sensation, and one that points to a new kind of interactive storytelling in which a guy like Bekmambetov might be able to physically meld with audiences in a way that the worst of his previous work (“Wanted,” “Hardcore Henry”) has always wished that it could.

Grade: B

“Profile” premiered at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival. It is currently seeking U.S. distribution.

on February 17, 2018 10:30 PM tagged with Timur Bekmambetov
 Never ask a wireless engineer working on the NYC subway system “What can go wrong?” Flooding, ice, brake dust, and power outages relentlessly attack the network components. Rats — many, many rats — can eat power and fiber optic cables and bring down the whole system. Humans are no different, as their curiosity or malice strikes a blow against wireless hardware… Read More
on February 17, 2018 10:24 PM tagged with Urban transit

The Server Message Block protocol, better known as SMB, is one of the most popular ways to transfer files over a network. It has been built into Windows for over 20 years (and the open-source Samba implementation is frequently used on other OSes), but version 1.0 has largely fallen out of use thanks to several major security vulnerabilities. Microsoft deprecated SMBv1 in 2014, and Windows 10 no longer includes it.

Read More

Solid Explorer adds support for SMBv2 file sharing protocol was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on February 17, 2018 10:22 PM tagged with solid explorer

As with any major announcement, Jodie Whittaker being named the 13th Doctor was a closely guarded secret. So much so, in fact, that higher-ups at BBC braced themselves for spoilers by pretending that the new star of “Doctor Who” was going to be another man — an effort that included using a male body in the visuals presented to their visual-effects house for storyboards of the scene in which the Doctor regenerates.

Read More:‘Doctor Who’ Star Jodie Whittaker Demanded the Same Salary as Peter Capaldi

“The BBC actually had us quote her first scene before we knew it was gonna be Jodie, via storyboards,” Louise Hastings said, according to Radio Times. “And the storyboards had been drawn with a man as the Doctor, so that was a bit of a surprise! I was looking through a list of the favorites to be the Doctor and comparing them to the pictures, but I was wrong, I couldn’t figure it out. They threw us off the scent.”

Read More:‘Doctor Who’ Finally Introduces the First Female Doctor as Jodie Whittaker Debuts — Watch

Whittaker made her official debut as the 13th Doctor during “Twice Upon a Time,” last year’s Christmas special. She’s best known for her appearances in “Broadchurch,” “Attack the Block,” and the “Black Mirror” episode “The Entire History of You.” Her predecessor Peter Capaldi’s tenure began when he took over for Matt Smith in 2017.

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on February 17, 2018 10:04 PM tagged with Jodie Whittaker

The trolls are out in full force again, this time directing their dubious efforts toward “Black Panther.” As noted by “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn, their latest tactic is to invent stories about racially motivated violence at opening-weekend screenings of Ryan Coogler’s acclaimed superhero drama.

“The racists are out and rearing their ugly heads with lots of fake tweets about violence at #BlackPanther screenings,” Gunn tweeted. “In truth, people from all walks of life have been enjoying the film together this weekend. Don’t let this BS scare you away.”

Read More:‘Dear White People’ Director Justin Simien Calls ‘Black Panther’ a ‘New and Tantalizing American Myth’

Nestled within Gunn’s tweet was another providing proof that images purportedly taken by victims showing their injuries were in fact lifted from the internet. It isn’t the first such incident “Black Panther” has had to contend with, as the Facebook group Down With Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and its Fanboys launched an event called Give Black Panther a Rotten Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. The review aggregator responded by saying that “any users who engage in such activities will be blocked from our site and their comments removed as quickly as possible.”

Read More:‘Black Panther’ Actor Says Her Character’s Queer Flirtation Scene Was Deleted

“Black Panther” has earned critical acclaim and is on track for a hugely successful weekend at the box office, with the latest estimates suggesting it will make more than $200 million over its first four days.

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on February 17, 2018 10:01 PM tagged with Black Panther

Time’s Up now has a European equivalent in Speak Up, a new initiative that was just launched at the Berlin Film Festival.It was unveiled by “Mug” director Malgorzata Szumowska, whose film is in competition at the festival and who declared that “the European film industry has decided to unite under the banner of Speak Up. We aim to offer a clear lead in ensuring sexual harassment and abuse are not tolerated in the work environment, whether it be offices or in the markets and festivals.”

Read More:Bill Maher Wants to Know Why the Most Popular Movie of the #MeToo Era Is ‘About a Woman on a Leash’ — Watch

The group doesn’t mince words in its manifesto, taken from its website: “For too long, abuse has been brushed off and ignored. Victims of abuse are belittled and their concerns dismissed. There has been a tacit threat that complaining about harassment could be detrimental to a career,” it reads.

“Enough of dismissing inappropriate groping and fondling as drunken behavior or harmless flirting. Enough of dismissing harassment and bullying as ‘banter’ and the victims as lacking a sense of humor. Enough of professional encounters being set up in private rooms. Enough of the ‘too big to fail’ mentality that means those with the greatest power and influence believe they can act any way they choose with impunity. Enough of blaming the victims.”

Read More:Time’s Up Has So Far Raised $20 Million to Bring Legal Aid to Harassment Victims

The manifesto also calls on training in legal rights, codes of conduct, and ways for people to report allegations. Read more here.

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on February 17, 2018 09:02 PM tagged with Time's Up

Bill Maher wants to know why, in the era of #MeToo, the most popular movie in America is “Fifty Shades Freed” — a film he describes as being about “a woman on a leash.” During his New Rules segment last night, the controversial TV host turned his attention to the seeming disparity between the growing calls for gender equality and an end to sexual harassment and the content of successful films like “Call Me by Your Name” and “The Shape of Water.”

Read More:Bill Maher Mocks Al Franken Groping Photo, Pretends to Harass Bob Saget

“2017 was a great year for women because finally men have been put on notice. Harassment is going to be noted now, so you’re going to have to think of another way to meet women,” Maher said before adding that “all men are playing with five fouls now, as we should, but the movement falters if it thinks we can make pain-free the messy transition from two people not in a relationship to two people who are” — something born out by films ranging from “Love Actually” and “Snow White” to “Jerry Maguire” and “Rocky.”

“I’m not saying men act the way they do primarily because of movies,” Maher clarified, “but they have been getting this message for a long time that this is what women want. And it is what women want — but only from men they want it from. Problem is, we don’t know which one we are.”

Read More:Bill Maher (Eventually) Apologizes For Use of Racial Slur on HBO’s ‘Real Time’ — Watch

To prove his point, he brought up four movies from 2017. “‘Beauty and the Beast’ is about a simple country girl who’s kidnapped, but it turns out it’s a prince, so it’s okay. If you think there’s a power imbalance when the conductor dates a cellist, imagine being hit on by a hulking dog-monster,” he said.

“‘Phantom Thread’ is about a powerful older man who picks up a waitress, ‘Call Me by Your Name’ is about a 24-year-old who has a gay affair with a 17-year-old, and ‘The Shape of Water’ is about a cleaning woman in a secret government lab who takes the Creature from the Black Lagoon Home and bangs it in the bathtub. If that’s not workplace sex, it’s certainly stealing office supplies.” Watch the full segment below.

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on February 17, 2018 08:01 PM tagged with MeToo

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority has released a set of guidelines for ICO regulation designed to support Blockchain development in the country.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) published a set of guidelines yesterday, Feb. 16, for applying existing financial market legislation to the regulation of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO).

FINMA CEO Mark Branson sees these guidelines as a way of helping Blockchain

technology successfully enter Swiss markets, noting that Blockchain companies “cannot simply circumvent the tried and tested regulatory framework”. He stated in the press release for the guidelines:

“Our balanced approach to handling ICO projects and enquiries allows legitimate innovators to navigate the regulatory landscape and so launch their projects in a way consistent with our laws protecting investors and the integrity of the financial system."

According to FINMA’s press release, the creation of the guidelines was prompted by an increasing number of ICOs taking place within Switzerland, in conjunction with the lack of clarity about how or whether they should be regulated, noting that “[c]reating transparency at this time is important given the dynamic market and the high level of demand.”

FINMA writes that currently there is currently no ICO-specific regulation in place or “consistent legal doctrine” for handling ICOs in the country.

In order to assess future  ICOs and determine which laws apply, FINMA says it will break ICO tokens into three categories: payment tokens, utility tokens, and asset tokens.

Global regulation of ICOs has been uneven, with China at one end of the regulatory spectrum banning all ICOs in the country in 2017, while others like Singapore and Australia have provided ICO guidelines designed to support ICOs in line with existing legislation, similarly to FINMA’s proposal.

Most ICO regulation globally comes with a warning to investors about the potential of encountering fraud when participating in this relatively new fundraising approach. FINMA’s press release ends by drawing attention to the risks associated with ICOs in terms of the market’s price volatility and the potentially uncertain legal nature of contracts made with Blockchain technology.

on February 17, 2018 07:31 PM tagged with Cryptocurrencies
 The nation state has survived wars, plagues, and upheaval, but it won’t survive digital nomads, not if people like Karoli Hindriks have something to say about it. Hindriks is the founder of Jobbatical, a platform that allows digital nomads to find work in other countries and helps with the logistics of getting there. The company also embodies a new world of highly-skilled, global… Read More
on February 17, 2018 07:30 PM tagged with Digital Nomad

A man arrives in purgatory, eager to learn his eternal fate. The divine judgement, however, is slow to arrive. The minutes turn to hours, the hours turn to days, and the days begin to blur together in a place where time has no meaning. Eventually, after what feels to him like a hundred years, the man begs for a verdict. “What are you talking about?” comes the reply. “You’ve been in hell since you got here.”

That grim parable is told to Georg (“Happy End” breakout Franz Rogowski) roughly halfway into Christian Petzold’s “Transit,” and yet the poor bastard doesn’t seem to realize that it’s about him. The inscrutable hero of an inscrutable film that unfolds like a remake of “Casablanca” as written by Franz Kafka, Georg has just escaped occupied Paris by the skin of his teeth, stowing away on a train to the port of Marseille. He doesn’t have much left to his name, and even that has become a luxury he can’t afford; in fact, Georg’s only hope for safe passage to Mexico is to assume the identity of a writer named Weidel, who committed suicide and left behind his visa papers. Georg’s ship is scheduled to sail in three weeks, but who knows what that means in a nightmare like Marseilles, where the only people welcome are those who can prove they’re leaving, and even the year is impossible to determine.

And so we arrive at the driving conceit behind Petzold’s beguiling “Transit,” which the “Phoenix” director has boldly adapted from Anna Seghers’ 1944 novel of the same name: The film is unstuck in history. Unlike the source material, it doesn’t take place in World War II, or even establish that World War II ever happened. The Nazis are still German, but they’ve been re-branded as generic fascists. And yet, while it was clearly shot on the streets of modern-day France (the roads hum with electric cars, and the cinematography isn’t aged in any way), Petzold’s telling isn’t necessarily set in the present. Digital technology is nonexistent, and the most relevant cultural reference comes when Georg mentions “The Dawn of the Dead” (and not even Zack Snyder’s version, one would assume).

TRANSIT by CHRISTIAN PETZOLDParis. Georg (Franz Rogowski) kann im letzten Moment seiner Verhaftung entgehen und gerät an die Papiere des toten Schriftstellers Weidel, dessen Identität er annimmt. Er flüchtet nach Südfrankreich, in der Hoffnung, dort auf politische Gesinnungsgenossen zu treffen. In Marseille lernt er Marie Weidel (Paula Beer) kennen, die dort seit Wochen auf ihren Mann wartet, nicht wissend, dass er nie wieder kommen wird. Die beiden Verlorenen beginnen eine leidenschaftliche Affäre. Aber für Marie steht im Gegensatz zu Georg fest: Sie will weg aus Marseille und in Südamerika ein neues Leben beginnen. Der Tag der Abfahrt des Schiffs naht, und Marie gibt die Hoffnung nicht auf, ihren Mann noch zu treffen. Von Minute zu Minute spitzt sich die politische Situation in Marseille weiter zu. Paul könnte den Platz von Maries Mann einnehmen, doch er zögert. Die Verwendung dieses Bildes ist für redaktionelle Zwecke honorarfrei. Veröffentlichung bitte unter Quellenangabe: CHRISTIAN SCHULZ / Schrammfilm www.cs-christianschulz.de


Christian Schulz

Read More:‘Isle of Dogs’ Review: Wes Anderson Delivers a Stop-Motion Stunner About the Garbage World We Live In — Berlinale 2018

This temporal confusion is never explicitly addressed, Petzold regarding his premise with the blunt senselessness of a dysfunctional bureaucracy. Wedged somewhere between fact and allegory, “Transit” trains one eye on the past and one eye on the present, until — like a Magic Eye illusion — they blur together in the middle, creating a new image that belongs to both and neither. Every refugee crisis is different, and every refugee crisis is the same.

What variations there are can be hard to spot, as the greatest commonality between exiles of various eras is that all of them are made to feel invisible. The dead are buried, but the desolate are just left to rot on the street. Watching Petzold’s characters mill about the sweaty visa offices and trap-like motels of Marseilles, the most crucial quote from Ai Weiwei’s “Human Flow” comes to mind: “Being a refugee is the most pervasive kind of cruelty that can be exercised against a human being. You are forcibly robbing this human being of all aspects that would make this human life not just tolerable, but meaningful in many ways.”


It’s that stranded, existential meaninglessness that Petzold is aiming to achieve, albeit it in a roundabout way that avoids contemporary signifiers as though they would only get in the way. Little distinction is made between the various refugees; the white characters might be granted a certain hope of getting across the ocean, but everyone is ultimately in the same boat. Even the people who manage to secure a magic visa for the transatlantic voyage all seem to wind up back in the same bar, having been displaced by army officers or foiled by some other cosmic occurrence.

Inevitably, people fall in love just to pass the time, at least until they learn that time doesn’t pass. A dead ringer for Joaquin Phoenix (all the way down to the scar above his upper lip), Georg keeps crossing paths with a mysterious brunette named Marie (Paula Beer), who likes to tap him on his shoulder before running away. Marie is shacking up with a mustached doctor (Godehard Giese), but it’s hard to parse the geometry between them, even as the characters begin to sort themselves into a halfhearted triangle. As Seghers once described the situation, this is a story in which “Two men fight over a woman, but the woman in fact loves a third man, who is already dead.”

Read More:‘Black 47’ Review: Hugo Weaving Is a Fierce Killer in this Violent Western About the Irish Potato Famine — Berlinale 2018

It’s a predicament with no satisfying resolution, just a lot of uninterested flirtation and empty acts of sacrifice. “Transit” isn’t much of a comedy, but it only gets funnier as the surreality of its premise takes hold, and every attempt at leaving Marseille ends in morbid amusement. Imagine if Ilsa and Laszlo’s plane exploded on its way out of Casablanca, and the pair of them just showed up at Rick’s the next day like it was the natural thing to do.

And yet, the more that Petzold’s film finds its rhythm, the more you feel the absence of any greater emotional undertow. These characters never become more than ciphers for some abstract horror, their humanity only bubbling to the surface when the narrator (the local bartender, of course) begins to describe his memory of them. It’s only during these brief moments that we can fully appreciate Georg’s disarray or the contours of Marie’s crisis.

Petzold may not care about any of that, but his version of “Transit” is made to contend with obstacles that Seghers never introduced into the source material, and the film’s main gimmick — more successful than not — compounds the extent to which these characters were slippery constructs to begin with. The result is a film that lucidly traces the specter of fascism (never extinguished, always waiting to exhale), and how unreal it feels for it to cast its shadow across Europe once more. It’s also a film that feels stuck between stations, so doggedly theoretical that it borders on becoming glib. Once you realize that Georg is trapped in hell, there’s nowhere for his story to go.

Grade: B

“Transit” premiered in Competition at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival. It is currently seeking U.S. distribution.

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on February 17, 2018 07:01 PM tagged with Transit

In a move that’s sure to hurt Joaquin Phoenix’s chances of landing the role, Tommy Wiseau has declared his intention to play the Joker in a standalone film being directed by Todd Phillips. The writer, director, and star of “The Room,” whose efforts to make what many consider to be the worst movie ever made were chronicled in “The Disaster Artist,” responded to the news of the new movie by tweeting, “Todd. DM me.”

Read More:Joaquin Phoenix to Play The Joker in Todd Phillips’ Standalone Movie — Report

If that weren’t clear enough, Wiseau followed up with a second tweet: “Yes ! I want to be THE JOKER !” Batman’s nemesis has been played by many actors over the years, with Jack Nicholson setting the standard in Tim Burton’s “Batman” and Heath Ledger winning a posthumous Oscar for taking the character to new heights in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight; Jared Leto portrayed the Joker in “Suicide Squad,” with neither the movie nor his performance winning as much acclaim as their predecessors.

Read More:Tommy Wiseau Wants to Direct a ‘Star Wars’ Movie — but He’s ‘Very Busy,’ So He’d Prefer to Act

Some enterprising young soul has already made a trailer for Wiseau’s Joker, because of course, and we present it to you now without further comment:

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on February 17, 2018 07:01 PM tagged with Tommy Wiseau
 French startup Sqreen recently launched a Security Hub with dozens of plugins to put you in control of the security of your web app. In many ways, it feels like enabling tasks on popular automation service IFTTT. Sqreen participated in TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield and Y Combinator’s current batch. The vision of the product hasn’t changed. Sqreen lets you protect your… Read More
on February 17, 2018 06:50 PM tagged with France Newsletter

Google just started rolling out Android Wear 2.8 earlier this month, but it's already talking about Wear 2.9. Like the last update, this one isn't making huge changes to the nature of Wear. It does, however, include a few new options for notification counters on your watch face and some changes to the way developers handle complications.

Read More

[Update: Rolling out now] Android Wear v2.9 will add unread notification counter and more was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on February 17, 2018 06:39 PM tagged with smartwatches

If you hadn’t heard, there’s this new movie called “Black Panther” and people are pretty into it. One of them is Justin Simien, the writer and director of “Dear White People,” who in a series of tweets says that one Ryan Coogler’s film’s most powerful qualities is that it “introduces a new and tantalizing American myth. One where our common African ancestors are at the forefront, endowing all their descendants with reason, equanimity, compassion, and the ability to see complex truths.”

Read More:How ‘Black Panther’ Could Change Hollywood For Good — IndieWire’s Movie Podcast (Screen Talk Episode 186)

“Much will be said of its myth-busting. Namely that it disproves an age old relic used to temper voices of color for decades: the lie that ‘black films’ don’t ‘travel,” he continues. “But I just wanted to briefly acknowledge the deeply powerful story that Mr. Coogler and his collaborators just injected into the center of our modern day myth machine known as Hollywood. What beautiful things might generations raised on stories like these accomplish? One can’t help but… hope. And hope is something I think a lot of us have been short on for a long time.”

Read More:Ryan Coogler is the New Steven Spielberg: ‘Black Panther’ Cements the Rise of Hollywood’s Commercial Auteur

In addition to writing and directing “Dear White People,” which premiered four years ago at Sundance, Simien also wrote and directed three episodes of Netflix’s TV adaptation of his film. “Black Panther” is having a huge weekend at the box office, having already made $75 million.

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on February 17, 2018 06:31 PM tagged with Justin Simien
 Chances are you’ve heard of Google. You’re likely a contributor to one of the 3.5 billion search queries the website processes daily. But unless you’re a venture capitalist, an entrepreneur or a slightly obsessive tech journalist, you may not know that Google, or, more properly, Alphabet, is also invests in startups. And, like most of what Google does, Alphabet invests… Read More
on February 17, 2018 06:10 PM tagged with google ventures
 They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but physiologically speaking, they’re windows to the brain. RightEye is a startup that looks through that window to detect common but often subtle vision issues resulting from concussions and other brain troubles. Its quick, portable eye-tracking station can tell in minutes whether you should see a doctor — or look into becoming a pro… Read More
on February 17, 2018 06:02 PM tagged with tobii

The total cryptocurrency market cap has broken $500 bln again today, most top 50 coins in green.

After a relatively low start to the month in the crypto market, the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies has again broken $500 bln today, Feb. 17, according to CoinMarketCap. The total market cap is currently around $502 bln at press time.

Bitcoin (BTC) has stayed well above the $10,000 mark, currently trading at about $10,830 and up almost 7 percent over a 24-hour period by press time. Ethereum (ETH) is inching closer to passing the $1000 threshold, trading at $969, up almost 3 percent over a 24-hour period by press time.

Total Market Capitalization

Of the top ten coins listed on CoinMarketCap, only Litecoin (LTC) is in the red, down about 3 percent at press time. Earlier week Litecoin saw a surge in price following the announcement of the upcoming launch of a LTC-fiat payment service, and a planned hard fork that Litecoin creator called a “scam”. LTC is currently trading at around $227.

The steady uptick in prices may have prompted by the bullish news that an anonymous trader purchased around 41,000 Bitcoin between Feb. 9 and Feb. 12, worth around $440 mln today, Marketwatch reported. The purchase reportedly brought the BTC address total up to over 96,000 BTC, or little over $1 bln.

on February 17, 2018 06:00 PM tagged with Tradings
Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Keith Teare, Esteban Kolsky, Denis Pombriant, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, February 16, 2018. The Gang catches its breath as cryptocurrency crashes and rebounds, Facebook attacks its stream or does it, while publishers and their aggregators cozy up to a wave of bundling @stevegillmor, ekolsky, @DenisPombriant Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor… Read More
on February 17, 2018 06:00 PM tagged with Steve Gillmor
 When black employee resource groups from a variety of tech companies come together, black magic happens. More specifically, black excellence happens. The Coalition of Black Excellence Week, spearheaded by Uber Litigation Counsel Angela Johnson in collaboration with black ERGs from over 40 tech companies like Facebook, Google, eBay, Lyft and Microsoft, kicks off this Monday in the San Francisco… Read More
on February 17, 2018 05:56 PM tagged with inclusion

David Glasser, who was next in line to become CEO of the Weinstein Company under new ownership, has now been fired instead. The news comes after an announcement that Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York, had filed a suit alleging that Glasser failed to protect employees from Harvey Weinstein’s decades of alleged sexual misconduct.

Read More:The Weinstein Company Sale Might Not Go Through Due to New York Attorney General

In a brief statement, TWC said simply, “The Board of The Weinstein Company has unanimously voted to terminate David Glasser for cause.” According to Variety, the board “blamed Glasser for failing to keep them in the loop about the investigation, and felt that he was playing both sides and angling for the top job under the new owners. The board also fired the law firm that had been handling the investigation on the company’s behalf.”

Read More:‘The King’s Speech’ and ‘The Artist’ Best Picture Oscars Currently Missing From the Weinstein Company’s Offices — Report

TWC’s future has been uncertain since Harvey Weinstein was first accused of sexual harassment, assault, and rape by numerous women late last year, leading to his ouster from the company (as well as the Academy, the Producers Guild of America, and the film industry in general). Several different groups have been in talks to buy the company, but no deal has been made official.

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on February 17, 2018 05:30 PM tagged with The Weinstein Company
 At the core of Facebook’s “well-being” problem is that its business is directly coupled with total time spent on its apps. The more hours you pass on the social network, the more ads you see and click, the more money it earns. That puts its plan to make using Facebook healthier at odds with its finances, restricting how far it’s willing to go to protect us from the harms… Read More
on February 17, 2018 05:22 PM tagged with Facebook
 Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos apologized for spam texts that were incorrectly sent to users who had activated two-factor authentication. The company is working on a fix, and you won’t receive non-security-related text messages if you never signed up for those notifications. Facebook says it was a bug. But calling it a bug is a bit too easy — it’s a feature that… Read More
on February 17, 2018 05:15 PM tagged with Facebook

Hi guys!

How’s Chinese New Year going for you so far? It’s Chu Er (Day 2) evening and I’ve been feasting since Chu Xi Ye (Chinese New Year Eve)!

Speaking of feasting, I want to take some time to blog about my recent visit at Kelly Jie Seafood (Formerly Toa Payoh Mellben). My impression of Mellben Seafood started with Mellben @ Prince Edward about 3 years ago, I fell in love with their Creamy Butter Crab (Sooo good) and have always thought highly of Mellben after that experience. So when I was invited to try out Kelly Jie Seafood’s new dishes, I was very excited to see what’s in store. Boy, I must say I was not disappointed!
Kelly Jie Seafood (Formerly Toa Payoh Mellben Seafood)

We were welcomed with Lime Juice and Barley, I had the Lime Juice which was sweet and refreshing and not just a sugary cordial that you might expect.

For starters, we had Wasabi Prawn which was served warm, so it was slightly crispy and the taste of wasabi was just nice, it was not overpowering or too much that might induce a cough. Also, isn’t the presentation just so pretty? I was not expecting a fine dining presentation at all.Next up, we had Truffle Pork Loin and boy, this is good! First of all the pork pieces are so tender and succulent. The truffle taste was not overpowering either and it’s definitely a dish you’d want to order and impress your guests if you’re hosting them for dinner. 🙂

Close up of a piece of tender meat from the Truffle Pork Loin dish.

This is a new dish created by the Kelly Jie chef for Christmas that was so popular, they continued to serve it post Christmas. It’s fried Red Garoupa served with Yuzu sauce, strawberries and garnish. I like the texture of the dish and how the sweetness of the yuzu balances well with the savoury fish. Definitely something different from the usual steamed fish, would recommend if your family / friends / guests are more adventurous with their food. Next up we have another new dish that chef and Kelly Jie are very excited about sharing, Lobster Noodles. (It’s not even on their website’s menu yet, lol)
The lobster meat is tender and fresh. The soup is light (instead of being too rich and creamy that you might become sick of eating halfway through) so if you want to order an entire portion for two or even one, you’ll have no problem finishing it. If you’re a fan of lobsters and soups, I would recommend this.  We also had the privilege to try some of their Chinese New Year goodies, this is the salted egg bitter gourd, which is very interesting!

I was pleasantly surprised by how pretty the dishes looked when they were served, of which Kelly Jie told us that is because Chef is a judge for many competitions (with him being a winner for many as well) which explains why the food doesn’t just taste good but looks good as well. Another big plus point is the location at Toa Payoh, which is centrally located in Singapore, ideal if you are hosting a gathering with guests coming from all over Singapore. I would recommend Kelly Jie for their fresh seafood and innovative, delicious dishes. Also, you must order the Creamy Butter Crab if you haven’t already tried it!

Special thanks to Kelly Jie, Chef, Lucas of Imagine PR for having my friend Keryn and I, and filling our tummies with delicious seafood on a rainy evening!

Be sure to call ahead to make reservations if you’re going in a big group! Details of Kelly Jie Seafood here:

Blk 211 Toa Payoh Lorong 8
#01-11/15, Singapore 310211

Monday to Friday
4.00pm – 12.00am
(Last Order at 10.45pm)
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holiday
12.00pm – 12.00am
(Last Order at 10.45pm)
+65 6353 3120
Visit Kelly Jie Website here.
on February 17, 2018 04:16 PM tagged with Toa Payoh Seafood Restaurant Recommendation
The timepiece displays the time by pulling its thermoelastic membrane into the cavities beneath the clock's face.
on February 17, 2018 04:04 PM tagged with Gear
on February 17, 2018 04:02 PM

Visa and Worldpay issue joint statement taking responsibility for accidentally charging Coinbase customers multiple times, report transactions have been reversed

Visa and payment processing company Worldpay issued a joint statement on the Coinbase blog today, Feb. 17, taking responsibility for charging Coinbase customers multiple times for the same transaction.

Before admitting fault in the statement published by Coinbase today, Visa had at first shifted the blame back to Coinbase, telling the Financial Times on Feb. 16 that it had “not made any systems changes that would result in the duplicate transactions cardholders are reporting.”

However, the latest statement from Visa and Worldpay on the Coinbase blog clarifies:

“Over the last two days, some customers who used a credit or debit card at Coinbase may have seen duplicate transactions posted to their cardholder accounts. This issue was not caused by Coinbase.

Coinbase has stated the error initiated from a change of the merchant category code (MCC) for crypto purchases earlier this month, which meant that crypto payments by card would be processed as “cash advances”. Coinbase reported Feb. 15 that the extra charges were a result of Visa reversing and recharging transactions due to the MCC code change.

Visa and Worldpay write that all of the reversal transactions should have been issued, and will be reflected in the customers’ account balances within a few days. Their statement concludes:

“If you continue to have problems with your credit or debit card account after this reversal period, including issues relating to card fees or charges, we encourage you to contact your card issuing bank. We deeply regret any inconvenience this may have caused customers.”

Brian Armstrong, CEO and co-founder of Coinbase, tweeted that he was “glad to see the record set straight on this”, attaching Visa and Worldpay’s joint statement:

The credit and debit card issues on Coinbase come after a slew of major banks around the world banned credit card purchases of cryptocurrencies, and in some cases debit card purchases, starting earlier this month.

on February 17, 2018 04:00 PM tagged with Visa
Its worldbuilding is expansive and its detective is hard-boiled—it's sci-fi noir turned up to 11.
on February 17, 2018 03:02 PM tagged with Culture

SwiftKey remains the keyboard of choice for many Android users, myself included. While the app is undoubtedly bloated, its autocorrect and next-word prediction are tops. Sadly, those strengths have gone to crap lately when using SwiftKey to type in comment forms like Disqus in Chrome. The latest SwiftKey Beta appears to fix the issue.

The bug hampers autocorrection while typing and causes odd things to happen when tapping next-word predictions. For example, sometimes multiple attempts are required to select a prediction; or tapping a word in the prediction bar adds the first letter of that word to the end of the word, yielding a nonword.

Read More

SwiftKey Beta v6.7.8 appears to fix annoying bug when typing in comment forms like Disqus in Chrome was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on February 17, 2018 02:21 PM tagged with third-party keyboard
The Opportunity rover has been exploring Mars for 14 years. But that doesn't mean it can't put Curiosity's social media skills to shame.
on February 17, 2018 02:02 PM tagged with Science

ACE sends out cease-and-desist letters to ‘pirate’ Kodi add-on developers and distributors

The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) has started sending out cease and desist letters as a new offensive against Kodi box manufacturers, developers and several individuals of the Kodi add-on community for facilitating piracy.

For those unaware, ACE is an anti-piracy coalition formed by the likes of Amazon, Disney, Netflix, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, HBO, CBS, Sony Pictures, Canal + and several major Hollywood studios to combat the pirate distribution of their content.

According to TorrentFreak, ACE has sent cease and desist letters to developers, distributors and several individuals asking them to stop their illegal activities such as development of extensions or their hosting on the internet or maintaining builds and repositories on YouTube that explains how to access protected content from Kodi.

Several sites have closed their doors, which includes NoobsAndNerds, a repository specialized in extensions for Kodi, is currently down, reports TVAddons who were the first to notice it. The site’s Twitter account has also been disabled.

SpinzTV, who offers unofficial Kodi builds and an associated repository, is also under the scanner.

Many netizens have started posting the letter received from ACE on Twitter. However, no one seems to care, for instance, like the developer, Teverz and YouTuber, Doggmatic (see their tweets below).

This is not the first time ACE has initiated such an action. In November last year, ACE had summoned two plugin developers for Kodi to cease their activities. In February this year, ACE obtained a preliminary injunction against TickBox TV, a box distributed in the United States that explains in detail how to install illegal add-ons. TickBox, the company which sells the TickBox TV device, have been ordered to release a software update for TickBox TV to remove copyright-infringing add-ons from its Kodi-powered streaming boxes.

Source: TorrentFreak

The post ACE launches a crackdown on illegal Kodi plugins appeared first on TechWorm.

on February 17, 2018 01:49 PM tagged with Pirate

Telegram’s creators have filed with the US SEC for an exempt offering of securities, reporting $850 mln raised from 81 investors for Telegram and the TON platform

Telegram creators Pavel and Nikolai Durov have filed a “Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities” with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Feb. 13, reporting $850 mln raised under the SEC exemption Rule 506(c) from 81 investors for “the development of the TON Blockchain, the development and maintenance of Telegram Messenger.”

The type of securities offered in the SEC filing are described as “Purchase Agreements for Cryptocurrency”, and are filed under the Rule 506(c) exemption that means that US citizens who invest must be accredited investors — those worth more than $1 mln or that have an annual income of $200,000 — in order for the tokens to not have to be registered with the SEC as securities.

The Eastman Kodak Company, which had announced the launch of their own ICO under the same exemption in early January, 2018, has postponed their ICO to take more time to verify their investors’ accredited status.

The date of the first sale for the Durovs’ ICO is noted as Jan. 29 of this year. By filing with the SEC, the Durovs are preparing to allow for US citizens to legally invest in their project, and implying that US citizens may in fact be some of the 81 investors.

Although the SEC filing did not contain the names of any investors in the Durov’s securities offering, Russian news outlet Vedomosti revealed today the names of some of the largest alleged investors, citing inside sources.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who purportedly has already invested in cryptocurrencies, reportedly was one of the first Russian citizens to be approved to invest in the project. One source allegedly close to the billionaire told Vedomosti that Abramovich had invested as much as $300 mln, however another source claimed the sum was closer to $20 mln.

Sergei Solonin, CEO of Russian payment service provider QIWI, invested $17 mln, Vedomosti writes. David Yakobashvili, co-founder of Russian-based dairy product company Wimm-Bill-Dann, told the publication that invested $10 mln in the project.

A Telegram ICO has been rumored to be in the making since December 2017, when a former Telegram employee wrote online that Telegram would be launching their own Blockchain platform and cryptocurrency, called either “The Open Network” or “Telegram Open Network” (TON).

A white paper, alleging to be for TON, was leaked in mid-January, but its authenticity has yet to be confirmed publicly by the Durov brothers.

The Durov’s SEC filing notes two issuers of securities, TON Issuers Inc. and Telegram Group Inc., both located in the British Virgin Islands. Under the “Related persons” section of the filing, Pavel Durov is listed as Executive Officer and Director, while his brother Nikolai is just listed as Executive Officer.

A source familiar with the TON funding told Vedomosti that the funding process was not conducted as an ICO in the “usual sense”,  in which a project’s tokens are purchased for other cryptocurrency, usually either Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH).  Instead, the source claims, it was more like a “closed allocation of securities in ordinary [fiat] currency --dollars and euros.”  

According to the same source, and in line with the brothers’ SEC filing, investors bought rights to the internal cryptocurrency of TON, called “Grams”, which will be distributed to them once the platform is launched.

on February 17, 2018 01:34 PM tagged with Government

After the Google Home was announced, it was only a matter of time before Google, like Amazon, made it possible for other brands to create their own Assistant-enabled speakers. We've already reviewed the TicHome Mini, a small portable alternative to the Home Mini, and today we're taking a look at JBL's line-up of Google Homesque speakers: the Link series. In this review, I will focus on the portable IPX7-rated cylindrical Link 20 and the larger stationary Link 300.

Read More

JBL Link smart speakers review: Offering several great alternatives to the Google Home was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on February 17, 2018 01:30 PM tagged with smart speaker
The Department of Defense released two videos of so-called UFOs. Or did it?
on February 17, 2018 01:07 PM tagged with Science
The most chilling aspect of that blockbuster Mueller indictment? The bureaucracy behind Russia's onslaught.
on February 17, 2018 01:07 PM tagged with Security
Legacy toymakers like Disney, Lego, and Hasbro are all banking on AR to keep their toys relevant in 2018.
on February 17, 2018 01:07 PM tagged with Gear
Florida Drupal Camp: a return four years in the making mglaman Sat, 02/17/2018 - 06:25

Five years ago I went to my second Drupal Camp and first Drupal Camp that I presented at. It has been four years, but I am finally going back to Florida Drupal Camp. I am pretty excited, as a lot has changed since then.

on February 17, 2018 12:25 PM

You can give cryptocurrency as a gift and it doesn’t trigger income taxes. But the IRS is unlikely to be persuaded unless you document it.

In our Expert Takes, opinion leaders from inside and outside the crypto industry express their views, share their experience and give professional advice. Expert Takes cover everything from Blockchain technology and ICO funding to taxation, regulation, and cryptocurrency adoption by different sectors of the economy.

If you would like to contribute an Expert Take, please email your ideas and CV to a.mcqueen@cointelegraph.com.

Despite recent corrections in crypto markets, you might have some big gains in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. But taxes are an ever-present danger, and it is clear that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is looking for reporting. With all the worry about so-called 1031 tax-free exchanges that can no longer be used for cryptocurrency, are there any other ways to transfer your crypto without triggering taxes? Here are some ideas, each way has pluses and minuses.

Contributing to a corporation or partnership

How about contributing your cryptocurrency to a corporation or partnership that you will control? In general, transferring property into a corporation in exchange for its stock is a taxable event.

That is, the transaction is treated as if you sold the property to the corporation in return for cash. The difference between the stock value you received, and the tax basis in the property you transferred to the corporation, will result in a gain or loss. That means taxes. Of course, you generally don’t want this sale treatment.

Fortunately, Section 351 of the tax code generally allows people to transfer property to a corporation in exchange for stock without trigger tax, even if the property is appreciated. The corporation can be either an S corporation (basically taxed as a flow-through) or a C corporation (that itself pays taxes). The corporation can be newly organized or already existing.

Of course, some requirements must be met. But if you meet them, some gains on an exchange of property for stock can be delayed. The IRS can tax it later when the shareholder eventually sells the stock received in the exchange. No gain or loss is triggered as long as you receive only stock in exchange for your property and you are in control of the corporation immediately after the exchange.

The control means the ownership of stock possessing at least 80 percent of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote and at least 80 percent of the total number of outstanding shares of all other classes of stock of the corporation. If you, along with others, transfer property into a corporation, you can do this as a group.  So you don’t have to have control personally.

The same kind of thing can work for partnership or LLC. Contributions of property or money in exchange for partnership interest are usually non-recognition events. In a way that is similar to the rule for corporations, the contributions can be tax-free, both to the contributing partner and to the partnership.

For partnerships, this non-recognition rule is contained in Section 721(a) of the Tax Code. It generally applies regardless of whether the contribution is made on the formation of the partnership or after it has been in existence and operating for some time. But there are some potential traps, more so with partnerships than with corporations. For example, this non-recognition rule does not apply to transactions between the partnership and a partner acting outside his capacity as a partner, or when the purported contribution is a disguised sale.

Moreover, under Section 721(b), the no tax rule also does not apply to gain realized upon a contribution of property to a partnership “investment company,” where the contribution results in the diversification of the transferor’s assets. All of these issues that can trigger taxes can be hard to spot.

How about gifts?

You can give crypto as a gift, and it doesn’t trigger income taxes. That’s right, no income tax to you as the donor, and no income tax to the recipient. Of course, when the recipient transfers or sells it, there would be income taxes then.

And at that point, the donee would need to calculate gain or loss. What is his or her tax basis, since it was a gift? The tax basis is the same as it was in your hands when you made the gift.

Keep in mind that to avoid income taxes, a gift has to be really a gift. The tax law is littered with cases of people who claimed something was a gift, but who got stuck with income taxes. With gifts not being subject to income taxes, it can seem tempting to try to characterize money or property you receive as gifts. But be careful: the IRS hears this ‘it was a gift’ excuse a lot.

And the IRS is unlikely to be persuaded unless you can document it. Plus, the IRS will expect a gift to occur in a normal gift-like setting. For example, if an employer or former employer gives a loyal employee $10,000 is that a gift? No, it is a bonus, treated as wages. Even trying to document it as a gift may not change that result.

True gifts may not trigger any income taxes, but there could be gift taxes involved. If you give crypto to a friend or family member —to anyone really— ask how much it is worth. If the gift is worth more than $15,000, it requires you to file a gift tax return. For 2018, $15,000 is the amount of so-called “annual exclusion.” You can give gifts up to this amount each year to any number of people with no reporting required.

Any gifts over that $15,000 amount require a gift tax return, even though you may not have to pay any gift tax. Rather than paying it, you normally would use up a small portion of your lifetime exclusion from gift and estate tax. For 2018, that number went up dramatically. The amount you can transfer tax-free during your life or on death just went up to $11.2 mln per person. That is $22.4 mln per married couple.

Donation to charity

What if your gift isn’t to a person, but to charity? If you give to charity, that can be very tax-smart. If you give crypto to a qualified charity, you should normally get an income tax deduction for the full fair market value of the crypto. If you bought it for $500, and donate to a 501(c)(3) charity when it is worth $15,000, you should get a $15,000 charitable contribution deduction. What’s more, you won’t have to pay the capital gain or income tax on the $14,500 spread. That’s a good deal. It’s why most savvy people, think Warren Buffett, want to donate appreciated property rather than money to charity.

Remember, if you use crypto to buy something, the IRS considers that a sale of your crypto. You have to calculate gain or loss. You might have bought something with your crypto. But you made a sale in the process!

The views and interpretations in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cointelegraph.

Robert W. Wood is a tax lawyer representing clients worldwide from offices at Wood LLP, in San Francisco (www.WoodLLP.com). He is the author of numerous tax books and frequently writes about taxes for Forbes.com, Tax Notes, and other publications. This discussion is not intended as legal advice.

on February 17, 2018 11:00 AM tagged with IRS

Reed Albergotti has a great article titled Latest Amenity for Startups: No Office. You can put in your email to read I believe but it's behind a paywall otherwise. The Information is a pretty excellent site that alongside (former Automattician) Ben Thompson's Stratechery I recommend subscribing to. Here are some quotes from the parts of the article that quote me or talk about Automattic:

So it’s no coincidence that one of the first companies to operate with a distributed workforce has roots in the open source movement. Automattic, the company behind open source software tools like WordPress, was founded in 2005 and has always allowed its employees to work from anywhere. The company’s 680 employees are based in 63 countries and speak 79 languages. Last year, it closed its San Francisco office, a converted warehouse — because so few employees were using it. It still has a few coworking spaces scattered around the globe.

Matt Mullenweg, Automattic’s founder and CEO, said that when the company first started, its employees communicated via IRC, an early form of instant messaging. Now it uses a whole host of software that’s tailor-made for remote work, and as the technology evolves, Automattic adopts what they need.

Mr. Mullenweg said Automattic only started having regular meetings, for instance, after it started using Zoom, a video conferencing tool that works even on slow internet connections.

He’s become a proponent of office-less companies and shares what he’s learned with other founders who are attempting it. Mr. Mullenweg said he believes the distributed approach has led to employees who are even more loyal to the company and that his employees especially appreciate that they don’t need to spend a chunk of their day on a commute.

“Our retention is off the charts,” he said.


“Where it goes wrong is if they don’t have a strong network outside of work—they can become isolated and fall into bad habits,” Mr. Mullenweg said. He said he encourages employees to join groups, play sports and have friends outside of work. That kind of thing wouldn’t be a risk at big tech companies, where employees are encouraged to socialize and spend a lot of time with colleagues.

But for those who ask him about the negatives, Mr. Mullenweg offers anecdotal proof of a workaround.

For example, he said he has 14 employees in Seattle who wanted to beat the isolation by meeting up for work once a week. So they found a local bar that didn’t open until 5 p.m., pooled together the $250 per month co-working stipends that Automattic provides and convinced the bar’s owner to let them rent out the place every Friday.

They didn't need to pool all their co-working allowance to get the bar, I recall it was pretty cheap! Finally:

For Automattic, flying 700 employees to places like Whistler, British Columbia or Orlando, Florida, has turned into a seven-figure expense.

“I used to joke that we save it on office space and blow it on travel. But the reality is that in-person is really important. That’s a worthwhile investment,” Mr. Mullenweg said.It might take a while, but some people are convinced that a distributed workforce is the way of the future.

“Facebook is never going to work like this. Google is never going to work like this. But whatever replaces them will look more like a distributed company than a centralized one,” Mr. Mullenweg said.

on February 17, 2018 07:07 AM tagged with Asides

You Will Not Able To “View Image” In Google Image Search Anymore

Do you download images from Google to set it as a wallpaper on your PC, or use it for your projects, etc.? Well, if you did, you will not be able to anymore, as Google has removed the “View Image” button from its image search results to protect copyrighted images on its platform.

“Today we’re launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites. This will include removing the View Image button. The Visit button remains, so users can see images in the context of the webpages they’re on,” Google SearchLiaison tweeted on Thursday. Basically, the change done by the search giant is to “help connect users and useful websites,” according to a series of tweets by Google’s Search Liaison.

The View Image feature allowed the users to quickly find the image they are searching for without having to open the source website. With the change, users will now have to click the “visit” button instead to view the image on the website. Basically, Google now wants users to visit the original website of the image that they are looking to download from the Internet, and bring revenue to their pages, thus helping their businesses. The change is also supposed to help protect copyrights and licenses of professional photographers and publishers.

“For those asking, yes, these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week,” the SearchLiaison tweeted. “They are designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value.”

It further added, “Ultimately, Google Images is a way for people to discover information in cases where browsing images is a better experience than text. Having a single button that takes people to actionable information about the image is good for users, web publishers and copyright holders.”

The removal of the View Image button in Google Image search is due to the licensing deal between Google and Getty Images’ multi-year global licensing deal announced earlier this month. This deal allows Google to use Getty’s content within its various products and services.

“This agreement between Getty Images and Google sets the stage for a very productive, collaborative relationship between our companies,” said Dawn Airey, CEO, Getty Images. “We will license our market leading content to Google, working closely with them to improve attribution of our contributors’ work and thereby growing the ecosystem.”

In addition to removing the “View Image” button, Google has also removed the “Search by Image” button. However, a reverse image search can still be done, though, by dragging an image to the search bar.

For those who are annoyed with Google’s move and looking to download a photo can still do so by right clicking the image in Google Images search result, then select “Copy Image Address” in Chrome (or similar button in any other web browser), and paste it into the address bar of another tab to open the photo. Alternatively, you can also right-click on the image and select the ‘Open image in new tab’ button. This will open the image in another tab and then you can go ahead and do the ‘Right-click-to-save-as’ procedure.

The post Google Removes “View Image” Button From Its Image Search Results appeared first on TechWorm.

on February 17, 2018 06:27 AM tagged with View Image
 It looks like Telegram’s billion-dollar ICO has reached its first milestone after the chat app company raised an initial $850 million, according to a filing. A document submitted to the SEC earlier this week states that the money was raised “for the development of the TON Blockchain, the development and maintenance of Telegram Messenger and the other purposes.” The security… Read More
on February 17, 2018 06:01 AM tagged with crypto

Back in December, T-Mobile uploaded a two minute-long short to its YouTube channel, in the style of classic stop-motion specials like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It mostly consists of T-Mobile CEO John Legere telling a story about how he saved the US wireless industry from the "abominable carriers." It's a mostly harmless video, but AT&T has decided to file a complaint with the National Advertising Division over it.

The ad only has 11,000 views on YouTube, and an additional 2.5 million views on Twitter, so the video's impact wasn't massive in the first place.

Read More

AT&T files complaint over "unsubstantiated, false, and misleading claims" in T-Mobile holiday commercial was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on February 17, 2018 05:20 AM tagged with video

[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for the “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” Season 3 finale, “Nathan Is Irrelevant.”]

Despite the title “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) has officially gone on the record to reject the idea that she is insane in the series’ Season 3 finale.

Over the course of the past year, Rebecca survived a suicide attempt, was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), and even started therapy, all of which seemed to point to progress in treating her mental health. By the end of the season though, events transpired to the point where she was charged with attempted second-degree murder after she accidentally injured someone. When her lawyer and erstwhile boyfriend Nathaniel (Scott Michael Foster) suggested she offer up a plea of insanity, she was sorely tempted at first, but in the end, decided to take responsibility for her actions.

Read More:‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Review: Game-Changing Finale ‘Nathaniel is Irrelevant.’ is a Reckoning Three Seasons in the Making

IndieWire spoke to co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna about Rebecca’s decision, which will most likely result in jail time and other harsh sentencing.

“We always knew that the end of this season would be a very low point for her and that it was going to sort of end and her realizing that she’s been in a bit of a fever dream,” said Brosh McKenna. “Somebody [was] saying, ‘You can use your disorder to eschew responsibility.’ And she does not want to label herself crazy. Last season she dealt with something that her mother used to have her eschew responsibility for — what she had done to [an ex-boyfriend] Robert. And in this, she’s saying, ‘I want to take responsibility for this.’

“And obviously, ‘crazy’ and ‘insanity,’ those are all very medically non-meaningful terms. She does have a disorder and does have mental health issues but this is about her saying, ‘In addition or besides that, I have made some decisions that are not great and people have let me off the hook. And now I don’t want to let myself off the hook anymore.’”

Check out additional highlights of our conversation with Brosh McKenna, in which she addressed more details about the finale, that unexpected time jump, Dog Josh, and the show’s end game:

Nathaniel the Ne’er-Do-Well

Although Nathaniel began as the unscrupulous interloper boss who took over Rebecca’s law firm, he’s slowly transformed himself to become a far softer and more loving sort of guy. That doesn’t mean he’s quite figured out all of the moral or ethical nuances of behavior though, as evidenced by the power duet, “Nothing Is Ever Anyone’s Fault.” Check it out below:

“There’s this trope about the uptight, rich asshole who learned to be a wonderful guy because of this quirky girl. That is the trope that we’re playing with with him,” said Brosh McKenna. “He’s learned that backstory and psychology and learning who you are and where you came from is important, but he’s absolutely gleaned the absolute wrong implemented lesson of that, which is, ‘Hey, super, then you can use this as an excuse for anything! So let’s use this to get you off the hook the way that I get myself off the hook for every shitty thing I’ve ever done.’ It made us laugh… to take a well-traveled trope … where a girl makes an asshole realize how to pursue a better path and kind of subvert that.”

Paula’s Rejection

Despite Nathaniel’s very tempting argument (who could resist that power ballad?), Rebecca decided at the 11th hour to face up to her actions while in court. Each of her friends was present in the courthouse except for her BFF Paula (Donna Lynne Champlin), who was still stung by the revelation of Rebecca’s lying. But just as Rebecca was about to plead insanity, Paula showed up, and seeing her friend’s guarded face clinched the decision for Rebecca.

Read More:‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Embraces the Crazy Cat Lady Stereotype With ’Buttload of Cats’

“In a romantic comedy there’s always a character that kind of protects the lead from taking responsibility because she is the one who is going to say, ‘Go to the airport and track him down,’ or ‘Run to the New Year’s Eve party and tell him how you feel.’ She’s the classic sidekick,” said Brosh McKenna. “Without her sidekick, Rebecca has to understand and face her own culpability, which Paula has a tendency to soften for her because Paula is, among other things, co-dependent. And so without Paula there, it’s up to her to use her own intellect and intuition to understand the situation that she’s in. When Paula shows up at the end, that’s when Rebecca is unable to make a choice that she knows is not the right choice for her.”

Heather the Pregnant Dilettante

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend --

Pete Gardner and Vella Lovell, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”


While Rebecca is dealing relationship woes in the finale, her friend Heather (Vella Lovell) finally has to make good on giving Darryl (Pete Gardner) the baby she’s been carrying for him as a surrogate.

“The thing that’s happening in Rebecca’s storyline is that she is really going to a new level of understanding what her responsibilities are in the world. That’s definitely true for Heather too,” said Brosh McKenna. “She has to follow through on something, and she has to live with the inevitable consequences of the decision she made. Really that’s where those are thematically linked. It’s repercussions. You decide to have someone’s baby for them, you’re going to actually give birth. For Rebecca, she’s made a lot of decisions that are somewhat reckless morally and they all come crashing down on her, so it’s very much an episode about repercussions and responsibility.”

Paula’s Horrifyingly Gross Song

In trying to calm Heather down before giving birth, three-time mother Paula sings a song titled, “Miracle of Birth.” Unfortunately, she dwells a bit too much on the physical aspects of childbirth and ends up scaring Heather even more. Take a listen:

“[Songwriter Jack Dolgen is] in the writers’ room and he works with a lot of women. There are only three men in our writers’ room out of 10 people. We like to horrify them with stuff like ‘Period Sex,’” said Brosh McKenna. “A bunch of the moms sat down with Jack and told him all the gross realities of birth… And then Jack went off and wrote the song with [composer Adam Schlesinger]. What I love is it’s a song about the horrifying nature of birth written two guys after having talked to a bunch of moms. We were on a very tight deadline for the finale. They wrote the song in a couple of hours in our recording studio.”

That Brilliant Time Jump

The series took a massive leap two episodes ago when it introduced an eight-month time jump in the middle of the episode. While Rebecca and Nathaniel were conducting an affair by hooking up in the back room of Home Base, various other characters were also hanging out at the sports bar. In a seamless edit, Heather — who has just become pregnant — walked behind the bar and when she emerged from the other side, she was sporting a significantly larger baby bump. While all the other characters also made big changes in their life, Rebecca and Nathaniel were still hooking up on the sly.

Read More:From ‘The Good Place’ to ‘BoJack Horseman,’ TV’s Punniest Shows Are the Smartest and Most Inventive

“We wanted to establish the conditions… the first time Valencia (Gabrielle Ruiz) and Beth (Emma Willmann) met and show here’s where Rebecca is in her relationship and then to jump ahead,” said Brosh McKenna. “We had a character that was pregnant, so that was one of the motivations to move that story forward. But another bigger theme was that everyone in their life was moving forward and whizzing past Rebecca. We wanted to show that she’s in a weird stasis with her relationship with Nathaniel. So having everybody jump ahead — White Josh has gone out of town, Valencia has a new relationship, and Heather’s having a baby — but Rebecca and Nathaniel have kind of frozen in time.”

She added, “That episode is directed by Erin Ehrlich, who has been one of our executive producers since Day One, and so she really understands how we were going to make that work. We worked really closely together. So it ended up being really fun. Somebody brilliant, not me, brought up the idea of using ‘The Moment Is Me’ to transition Heather around the bar. Everything in the bar has changed except for that neon sign, and that was Erin’s idea.”

When Valencia Met Beth

Gabrielle Ruiz and Emma Willmann,

Although Valencia had dated Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III) previously, the show didn’t make a big deal of her developing a relationship with a woman during the time jump. In fact, it felt very natural and matter-of-fact.

“We wanted to show that in her personal life she’s gotten some things sorted out and she’s met somebody who appreciates her and talks to her in a way that Josh never did,” said Brosh McKenna. “We haven’t really seen Valencia in any other romantic situations since Josh. So when she meets someone who thinks she’s funny and appreciates her business — those are two things Valencia cares about. We wanted to show them meeting and that this person latches onto those things about her right away. Then that by the time you see them eight months later, they’re already in a relationship.”

Dog Josh: A Tail of Hound and Furry

Erick Lopez, David Hull, and Dog Josh,

While going to Mexico, White Josh (David Hull) also adopted a cute little dog that Josh Chan insists on calling Dog Josh because of its superficial resemblance to both of them.

“Rachel and I for a long time had been saying that White Josh should have a dog… because he seems like someone who doesn’t understand love. They wanted to give him something where he understands love in a really profound way that’s not romantic love. I think I actually was the person who said, ‘Maybe he could be called Dog Josh.’”

Finding the proper dog to embody Dog Josh was an important task. “Tom Cahill, for prop master, who is brilliant worked with some animal wranglers and he brought us maybe five or six dogs,” she said. “We looked for one that looked like David and Vinnie. It was that kind of like snub-nosed look, that kind of slightly flattened, small nose look that had jumped out at us. We think that Dog Josh is some sort of bulldog hybrid who somehow ended up living in squalid circumstances in Mexico. [White Josh has] adopted an orphan because Rachel and I both have rescue dogs.”

Dog Josh,

Dog Josh, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”


The End Is Nigh… If It Gets a Fourth Season

“We haven’t gotten picked up for Season 4. If we’re lucky enough to get a Season 4, that will be it for us. Season 4 will be our last season,” said Brosh McKenna. “We’re trying to kind of round out that journey. Rachel and I pitched this story in four chapters when we started working together. It was always a story about a woman’s descent and her rising up. And we’re excited to tell the back bit of that story.”

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on February 17, 2018 05:02 AM tagged with TV Interviews

[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for the “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” Season 3 finale, “Nathaniel is Irrelevant.”]

“I’m so excited that our love story can begin.” “Josh Chan must be destroyed.”

It’s only fitting that the third season of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” would end with another shocker of a sendoff, courtesy of Rebecca Bunch. The closing to an unofficial trilogy of Rebecca’s journey from workaholic hurricane of obsession to a more self-aware, introspective version of herself is what this season has been building towards from the start. “I plead guilty” is a pretty striking way to close out a true roller-coaster season — in many ways, it feels like the only logical conclusion.

Both in the episode and season overall, it wasn’t necessarily the cleanest road to get there. But what the show leaves behind at Season 3’s end is the biggest change yet for a volatile heroine, and the decision that almost feels like “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” starting over again. That reset button is one that really got pushed two weeks ago with the masterfully executed time jump that kicked off a thrilling season-ending arc. Tracking into the finale, part of that comes from Paul Welsh, who continues to be uproariously unsettling as Trent. Between last week’s incredible opening credits number, him combing his hair in the mirror, and his delivery of the line “Io-was…” it’s appropriately bizarre farewell if Trent’s destined to be consigned to a body cast for the foreseeable future.

Read More:‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Boss on Rebecca’s Fateful Decision, the Time Jump, and the Show’s End Game

But as result of her increasingly haunting visions and a discussion with her therapy support group (a chance for Michael Hitchcock to make one last guest appearance this season, in an episode he co-wrote with director Aline Brosh McKenna), Rebecca decides that it’s time to come clean with everything she’s hidden from the three most important people in her life over as many seasons. Rachel Bloom’s deep breath expression before unleashing a torrent of missteps is the kind of frankness the character’s been searching for in a shifting, post-diagnosis world.

That confession summit is an interesting way to reevaluate all four people involved as the show heads into a hiatus. Josh has felt like an appendage of sorts to the season. Once Rebecca finally moved on, his connection to the series has felt less vital, even if a stripping gig, a great “Singing in the Rain”-inspired number, and a stomach-churning barkeep mishap has kept him in the mix. But it makes sense that he was there for this, especially if Rebecca’s potential jailtime will put extra focus back on the people she’s wronged.

Of course, this boardroom reckoning shows that Rebecca’s not the only person deserving of some long-overdue blame. Between the confessions that earn him a sharp Chan right hook to the jaw and the not-so-flattering nihilism of the ethically murky ballad “Nothing is Anyone’s Fault” (of course the closest the show’s ever come to a Jason Robert Brown song features the line “Energy in space was the ultimate Bad Father!”), it’s clear that Nathaniel still is not a good person. That’s true even if Nathaniel mouthing the word “insanity” in the courtroom is one of his best moments of the season or if “I Go to the Zoo” is the most replayable jam “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” has ever made.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3 Finale Miracle of Birth

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

Patrick Wymore/The CW

And while the episode may have begun and ended with Rebecca, like most of the strongest parts of the season, this was a showcase for everything that Paula can be. In a finale that leaned a little closer to the surreal and goofy side of what “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” occasionally becomes, Donna Lynne Champlin grounded every single major moment that she was a part of.

Reading seismic revelations from a piece of paper, there’s genuine hurt in Paula’s demeanor. This isn’t just the usual disappointment that Paula sometimes has to shoulder. It’s a breaking point. That she can play that sense of betrayal and, in the seconds right before Rebecca‘s final line, be understanding enough to give her best friend the strength to face the aftermath of her decisions is a testament to how Champlin’s elevated the character from sidekick to a fully developed woman all her own.

Read More: ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’: Inside the Making of the Ronettes-Inspired ‘Maybe She’s Not Such a Heinous Bitch After All’ Video

Goodness, and that’s all after “The Miracle of Birth,” another show-stopping Paula sequence worthy of ancestors “Maybe This Dream,” “Face Your Fears,” and “The First Penis I Saw.” Rhyming “went, uh” with “placenta” is lyrical wizardry, a trick to which Champlin adds the perfect final touch. No other actress alive could put that same frisson on the word “mucus,” either.

And the callbacks. Ohhhhhh, the callbacks. The song titles alone would have been enough. (Though, with Nathaniel and Darryl both saying it, we’d be lying if we didn’t say that we hoped a third invocation of “Having a few people over” would lead to a full-blown reprise.) But by squeezing in “Group Hang,” “After All [She’s] Done for You,” and “You Stupid Bitch,” it’s almost like the soundtrack was clearing house just as much as Rebecca was.

But the two most important songs for this episode were also ones that were not sung. Rebecca nodding to the Season 2 opening credits, saying that she wants to be “held responsible for her actions,” might have been one shade too on-the-nose for the climactic moment. But if the intent is to lay the groundwork for everything we’ve seen of this character so far, that’s one last goodbye to what Rebecca used to be.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3 Finale Heather Darryl

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

Patrick Wymore/The CW

But the final touch, even after those final affirmative seconds, is “I’m a Good Person” over the end credits. (Listen for it on the DVD.) When Rebecca sang that song on Season 1, it was a shining example of the disconnect between how she was seen and her own self-denial. Now that she’s finally begun to accept that responsibility, she’ll still have to reckon with whether her decision to throw herself at the mercy of the Los Angeles County legal system is a true act of absolution.

Whatever conclusion she or the judge arrive at, this finale also gave a chance to bring the Whitefeather/Plimpton employees back to the fold, after they took somewhat of a backseat to the messy Nathaniel and Rebecca drama. George delivers heat-seeking missiles of truth to both lovesick co-workers, Tim gets the blood-curdling shriek after Trent gets pushed off the rooftop, and Maya gets to explain her love for the baby name Rufus. Regardless of how Season 4 progresses, here’s hoping the future doesn’t lose sight of the law firm support staff.

Read More:‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’: The Best Songs from Each Character

Two other people the show hopefully has a plan for? Darryl and Heather, who made the most out of this finale’s B(irth)-plot. Fast-forwarding Heather’s pregnancy was probably the best move in the long run, particularly since it’s becoming more and more difficult to have a birth scene that doesn’t lean on cliches. (A dream ballet with pre-schoolers was far more illustrative!) But by skipping over all the lead-up to Baby Heabecca, it’s another case of this finale tying its effectiveness to events that are still over the horizon. So much of the success of this turning point depends on where the show goes afterwards (and whether David Wain gets to come back as the doctor who, like the Waiters Who Are Nauseated by Food, reaches for the trash bucket after Paula’s description of the birthing process).

Even after her diagnosis earlier this season, a slightly changed Rebecca still had so many chances to backslide and to do the bare minimum to change. So “Nathaniel is Irrelevant.” doesn’t seem like a series finale. Of the three season-ending episodes, this is the one that even in coming full circle would be the most heartbreaking to not see what comes after. The fairytale ending of Season 1 ended exactly the way that Rebecca wanted. The crazy wish fulfillment of Season 2 ended with a strange, renewed sense of purpose. In a season where Rebecca felt the most conflicted and the show’s tone and approach sometimes matched that, the ending was never going to be as clean and happy as those last words may indicate.

So what comes next? For the first time in the show’s history, that’s not abundantly clear. It’s a radical departure for a radical show. If a next chapter is on its way, it’ll be the most important one yet. (And if it isn’t, we’ll always have Dog Josh.)

Grade: B+

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Netflix. Season 3 episodes are available on The CW App and cwtv.com.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest TV news! Sign up for our TV email newsletter here.

on February 17, 2018 05:02 AM tagged with TV Reviews
In the wake of the Mueller indictment of a Russian troll farm, any attempt to claim that the 2016 election wasn’t affected by Russian meddling is laughable.
on February 17, 2018 03:25 AM tagged with Security

Kuro5hin logo

Kuro5hin (pronounced “corrosion” and abbreviated K5) was a website created in 1999 that was popular in the early 2000s. K5 users could post stories to be voted upon as well as entries to their personal diaries.

I posted a couple dozen diary entries between 2002 and 2003 during my final year of college and the months immediately after.

K5 was taken off-line in 2016 and the Internet Archive doesn’t seem to have snagged comments or full texts of most diary entries. Luckily, someone managed to scrape most of them before they went offline.

Thanks to this archive, you can now once again hear from 21-year-old-me in the form of my old K5 diary entries which I’ve imported to my blog Copyrighteous. I fixed the obvious spelling errors but otherwise restrained myself and left them intact.

If you’re interested in preserving your own K5 diaries, I wrote some Python code to parse the K5 HTML files for diary pages and import them into WordPress using it’s XML-RPC API. You’ll need to tweak the code to use it but it’s pretty straightforward.

on February 17, 2018 03:23 AM

What even is "Site Building"?

At DrupalDownunder some years back, the wonderful Erica Bramham named her talk "All node, no code". Nodes were the fundamental building blocks in Drupal, they were like single drops of content. These days though, it's all about entities.

But hang on a minute, I'm using lots of buzz words, and worse, I'm using words that mean different things in different contexts. Jargon is one of the first hurdles you need to jump to understand the diverse worlds of the web. People who grow up multi-lingual learn that the meanings of words is somewhat arbitrary. They learn the same thing has different names. This is true for the web too. So the first thing to know about Site Building, is it means different things to different people. 

To me, it means being able to build a website with out knowing how to code. I also believe it means I can build a website without having to set up my own development environment. I know people who vehemently disagree with me about this. But that's ok. This is my blog, and these are my rules.

So - this is a post about site building, using SimplyTest.Me and Drupal 8 out of the box.

1. Go to https://simplytest.me

2. Type Drupal Core in the search field, and select "Drupal core" from the list

3. Choose the latest development branch, right at the bottom of the list.


For me, right now, that's 8.6.x, and here's a screenshot of what that looks like.

SimplyTest Me Screenshot, showing drop down fields described in the text.


4. Click "Launch sandbox".

Now wait.

In a few moments, you should see a fresh shiny Drupal 8 site, ready for you to explore.

For me today, it looks like this.  

Drupal 8.6.x front page screenshot


In the top right of the window, you should see a "Log in" link.

Click that, and enter admin/admin to login. 

You're now ready to practice some site building!

First, you'll need to create some content to play with.  Here's a short screencast that shows you how to login, add an article, and change the title using Quick Edit.

A guide to what's next

Follow the Drupal User guide to start building your site!

If you want to start at the beginning, you'll get a great overview of Drupal, and some important info on how to plan your site. But if you want to roll up your sleeves and get building, you can skip the chapter on site installation and jump straight to chapter 4, and dive into basic site configuration.



You have 24 hours to experiment with the simplytest.me sandbox - after that it disappears.


Get in touch

If you want something more permanent, you might want to "try drupal" or contact us at catalyst-au.net to discuss our Drupal services.

on February 17, 2018 03:05 AM
How students are fighting lies, half-truths, and hypocrisy in the wake of the Florida school shooting
on February 17, 2018 03:02 AM tagged with Ideas
Kira-kira hanya seratusan anak tangga. Namun lengan pendek arloji yang sudah menunjukkan pukul enam sore membuat saya sedikit bergegas menuruninya. Boleh dibilang saya terlampau terlambat mengunjungi air terjun yang teduh di lereng Gunung Dempo ini. Sudah barang tentu suasananya sunyi
on February 17, 2018 02:35 AM tagged with Kota Pagaralam
 Yesterday, we wrote that Coinbase customers were being charged multiple times for past transactions. While some speculated that the erroneous withdraws were down to a Coinbase engineering issue, Coinbase issued a statement saying it wasn’t liable for the duplicate charges. The blame, instead, rested with Visa for the way it handled a migration of merchant categories for… Read More
on February 17, 2018 02:30 AM tagged with crypto
To troll effectively, Colonel Gant, you must think in Russian!
on February 17, 2018 02:28 AM tagged with Science

Cointelegraph’s “Top People in Blockchain” is out today, showing you the people that helped grow our industry from its humble beginnings into what it is today.

Cointelegraph ranks the top players of cryptocurrency and Blockchain, presenting the people responsible for making our more than $400 bln industry into what it is today.

What are the criteria, you ask? Without taking any liberties, we simply calculated the number of mentions each of the participants received in the mainstream ratings, such as Forbes’ and Fortune’s.

The story of cryptocurrency and Blockchain has been one of innovators and pioneers. While there has been no shortage of starts and stops, the industry has grown from humble beginnings to a global phenomenon in less than a decade.

Last year saw remarkable growth in interest towards crypto, driving prices in the markets to record-setting highs. At one point Bitcoin has gone beyond $20,000, while other coins such as Ethereum also saw massive gains.

We owe it to dozens of innovators and advocates for helping the industry grow and turn into what it is today. Among them you’ll no doubt find familiar faces.

Bitcoin guru Andreas Antonopoulos has brought Bitcoin to the masses with his book ‘Mastering Bitcoin”. Roger Ver was one of the first investors in Blockchain and helped grow the industry as a prominent advocate.

Vitalik Buterin, while having only spent 7 years in the crypto industry, has contributed massively, helping create the second largest cryptocurrency Ethereum in 2014.

We’ve also included people in the media affecting how the world is seeing and talking about cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology. These include such prominent advocates like Laura Shin and Perianne Boring.

See how we’ve ranked the top influencers that are shaping the future of money.

Aaron Wood

on February 17, 2018 01:34 AM tagged with Andreas Antonopoulos

Ellen DeGeneres has done it again. The star’s new NBC unscripted series “Ellen’s Game of Games” has become the biggest alternative series launch during the regular season in two years, since the premiere of the Peacock’s “Little Big Shots” — which DeGeneres also executive produces.

“Ellen’s Game of Games” features host DeGeneres (who executive producers through her A Very Good Television Production shingle) as she puts contestants through a wide variety of stunts, quizzes and games as first seen on her daytime talk show. “Game of Games” premiered on Jan. 2 with back-to-back episodes that averaged a strong 2.5 rating and 2.7 rating. The show was almost immediately renewed for a second season based on those numbers. Serving as the Tuesday night lead-in to “This Is Us,” the show has also benefited a bit from that hit’s halo.

“Ellen’s enthusiasm and energy is utterly infectious,” NBC Entertainment alternative president Paul Telegdy said when he renewed the show last month. “It’s been exciting to watch her antics supersized on a primetime stage.”

Hosted by Steve Harvey, “Little Big Shots” was an even bigger phenomenon when it premiered in 2016, and spawned the spinoff “Little Big Shots: Forever Young.” Like “Game of Games,” “Little Big Shots” was inspired by a segment on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — in that case, one where she features child performers.

Besides those two unscripted shows, DeGeneres is also an executive producer on ABC’s new comedy “Splitting Up Together” and Netflix’s animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Meanwhile, the biggest story of the week, of course, was the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, which led the week’s ratings charts even though it didn’t start until last Thursday. The Opening Ceremonies averaged 29.2 million viewers on linear TV — making it the most-watched Friday night in four years, according to NBC, besting four World Series games, two NBA Finals games and all three Fridays of the Rio Olympics.

In cable, Atlanta ruled: Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” was the top-rated program of the week (1.4 rating). And according to Xfinity, “This Is Us” continues as the most-watched show on demand.

Here are this week’s rankers:

Adults 18-49 ranker, week ending Feb. 11, 2018:








Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony NBC 




Winter Olympics Sunday Prime NBC




Winter Olympics Saturday Prime NBC




This Is Us NBC




Winter Olympics Thursday Prime NBC




Grey’s Anatomy ABC




The Good Doctor ABC




9-1-1 Fox




Celebrity Big Brother Wednesday CBS




The Bachelor ABC 




Chicago Med NBC




Law & Order: SVU NBC 




Ellen’s Game of Games NBC








Celebrity Big Brother Thursday CBS




Chicago PD NBC




Scandal ABC




The Resident Fox




The Middle ABC




Celebrity Big Brother Sunday CBS




Bull CBS




Lethal Weapon Fox




How to Get Away with Murder ABC




Celebrity Big Brother Friday CBS




The Blacklist NBC



Adults 18-49; ratings points. Source: Nielsen Media Research
Chloe Kim of the US in action during the Women's Snowboard Halfpipe final at the Bokwang Phoenix Park during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games, South Korea, 13 February 2018.Snowboard - PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games, Bongpyeong-Myeon, Korea - 13 Feb 2018

Chloe Kim wins the Gold Medal


Total viewers ranker, week ending Feb. 4, 2018:






Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony NBC 




Winter Olympics Sunday Prime NBC




Winter Olympics Saturday Prime NBC 








Winter Olympics Thursday Prime NBC 




The Good Doctor ABC




This Is Us NBC




Bull CBS




NCIS: New Orleans CBS




Chicago Med NBC




Chicago PD NBC




Grey’s Anatomy ABC




9-1-1 Fox 




Law & Order: SVU NBC




Celebrity Big Brother Wednesday CBS




The Blacklist NBC




Ellen’s Game of Games NBC




The Bachelor ABC




60 Minutes CBS




Scorpion CBS




Kevin Can Wait CBS




Man With a Plan CBS 




The Middle ABC 




Celebrity Big Brother Thursday CBS 




The Wall NBC



Total viewers; in millions. Source: Nielsen Media Research

Mandy Moore, “This Is Us”

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Here is this week’s Xfinity On Demand ranker:

Top 20 TV Series, Feb. 5-11, 2018:





This Is Us






The Good Doctor



The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story



Game of Thrones






Big Brother: Celebrity Edition



The Resident






Married At First Sight



The Alienist



Law & Order: SVU



The Chi



Grey’s Anatomy



The X-Files



The Bachelor



 The Simpsons









The Big Bang Theory


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on February 17, 2018 01:27 AM tagged with Winter Olympics